There are so many new, exciting skills to be learned by a baby and learning to use their eyes is one of the most exciting skills of all.
Usually, healthy babies are born with the ability to see but they have not yet developed the ability to use their eyes, focus them or process information gotten from them. Processing information gotten from the eyes is an important part of development in babies, aiding them to understand the world around them. An inability to properly do this could lead to developmental problems so it is important to be aware of the process as your child matures.
A baby’s vision improves greatly during the first year. At birth, an infant is able to detect light and motion and gradually begins to identify faces and shapes. In the first couple of months, their eyes begin to work together, although coordination might be a bit tricky. You might notice that one eyes appears to be wandering, or both eyes seem crossed. This is usually nothing to worry about.
However, if you do notice that one or both eyes appear to be looking inward or outward often, you might need to speak to your pediatrician.
Your baby may also begin to develop hand-eye coordination, especially when their eyes follow a moving object and their hands reach out for it.
By around 8 weeks of age, most babies can find and focus on their parent’s faces. By around 3 months of age, your baby’s eyes should be able to follow things around. Waving around brightly colored objects helps them on focusing and identifying colors.
When your baby is around 5-8 months of age, it would help to take them to new and interesting places and point out the things you see. By this time, your baby would like to look at your face but they should also be allowed to look at books with colorful, familiar objects.
When babies are one year old, they are able to judge distances fairly well which helps them in both their movement and hand-eye coordination. You will need to be extra vigilant but also give them enough room to play around and pick up safe objects.
By now, your baby will enjoy playing games with you like hide-and-seek or games with toys. Pointing out and naming objects when you speak makes word association easier for your baby.